NOLA Not Ranked As Dangerous City Monday, Oct 30 2006 

The annual list of the safest and most dangerous cities in America has been released and believe it or not, New Orleans was not listed as one of the most dangerous cities. To be fair, the statistics are based on FBI figures released in June, and the NOPD evidently did not report any crime figures. The Morgan Quitno Press, which compiles the list, does not bother to look through publicly available police records and thus excluded New Orleans from its rankings. I guess we’ll never know, but unlike wholesome Baton Rouge, which ranked as 44th most dangerous out of 371 (ouch), I’m certain New Orleans would have been up close to the safest cities, Brick, N.J. and Amhearst, N.Y. On the other end, St. Louis edged out Detroit for the top spot in the World Series of Danger.

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What Should Have Happened . . . Saturday, Oct 28 2006 

Brigadier General Matthew E. Broderick, the now-retired director of the Homeland Security Operations Center, repeatedly failed to communicate to his superiors reports of breached levees and widespread flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. As explained by the authors of Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Faiure of Homeland Security, the Marine general’s mentality was that of a commander reluctant to unecessarily risk the lives of his troops in battle, rather than one considering relatively non-hazardous rescue efforts. But for Broderick’s refusal to acknowledge and stress the dire situation in New Orleans for nearly 30 thiry hours after the flood walls breached, in spite of plenty of evidence of the debacle, the federal response would have been, well, there might have been a response.

With that background, Green Day and U2’s video for “The Saints are Coming” presents a utopian version of what should have happened:

Essence Festival Sends Houston Back to the Bench Wednesday, Oct 25 2006 

essence-top-header.gifThere’s an unwritten rule in the NFL that a player cannot lose his starting job due to injury. When the starter’s ready to play again, his job is there waiting for him. The backup returns to the bench unless he can earn back the job as a starter.

The organizers of the Essence Music Festival have taken that rule to heart. The Weathers Report earlier reported that our friends in (Thanks) Houston, who hosted the event last year while the Superdome underwent post-Katrina renovations and repairs, were maneuvering to keep the event permanently, even after New Orleans was ready to come off the disabled list. Yet it was announced this week that the Essence Music Festival is returning to the Big Easy with a new three-year deal.

So the starter keeps the job and the backup returns to the bench. And since the backup performed poorly –attendees had problems navigating the sprawling city and finding entertainment after the concerts – and because, in the words of Your Right Hand Thief, Houston is a “hideous, sprawling, strip mall vomitorium,” that’s where it will stay. Thanks Houston. Tell your buddies in Oklahoma City that the Hornets are next.

Bar Examiners Say “Readi Toserve” Not Quite Ready Wednesday, Oct 4 2006 

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The results of the July 2006 Louisiana bar examination are in, and once again, The Weathers Report is sponsoring the biannual unsuccessful applicants’ Best Fictional Names contest. Last exam’s winner was Hope I. Pass, who evidently did pass on the second go-around. Congrats Hope!

For the uninitiated, the bar examiners require applicants to use fictional names and letter-number combinations so that the test can be graded anonymously.  Although the examiners release the names of the successful applicants, they protect the privacy of those who conditioned or failed the bar by giving out only the fictional identifiers. Here are winners of The Weathers Report’s Fall 2006 Best Fictional Names contest:

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Readi Toserve, PJ-326 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Evidently not quite ready.

Katrina Victim, GL-333 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .No excuse.

You Wont SeeThis, YS-737 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wanna bet?

Dick Johnson, PL-510 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Middle name “Peter”

Matthew Fox, AD-307 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”Lost” on the exam, too.

Cannon Ballrun, CA-123 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cannon Ballrun II coming soon.

Elle Woods, TN-686 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Legally blonde ≠ legally proficient

Elle Woods, AM-032 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ditto.

Congrats also to the students of LSU Law School, which led all schools with a 91 percent passage rate. Way to geaux!